Use Cases > In-process Traceability

In-process Traceability

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In-process Traceability helps companies to maintain complete visibility not only of work in progress components and assemblies, but also of carriers, tools, human resources, and other production resources benefiting from enhanced visibility and Traceability. It is usually achieved with RFID, UWB or other technologies that track parts and resources as they pass through the assembly line. The difference between in-process Traceability and product Traceability is that in-process Traceability focuses on the work in progress items on a manufacturing line while product Traceability focuses on goods movement across different points in the supply chain.

Business Viewpoint

Quality Control and Assurance: In-process traceability enables businesses to maintain quality control and assurance by tracking the origin, processing, and handling of materials and components at each stage of production. By capturing data on process parameters, deviations, and anomalies, businesses can identify and rectify quality issues in real-time, ensuring compliance with standards and specifications.

Supply Chain Visibility: In-process traceability provides businesses with visibility into their supply chain, allowing them to monitor the movement of materials and products across suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors. By tracing the flow of goods from raw materials to finished products, businesses can optimize inventory management, reduce lead times, and mitigate supply chain risks.

Stakeholder Viewpoint

Manufacturers: Manufacturers prioritize in-process traceability to ensure product quality, safety, and compliance throughout the production process. They rely on traceability data to identify production bottlenecks, optimize workflows, and improve operational efficiency, enhancing overall productivity and competitiveness.

Suppliers and Customers: Suppliers and customers value in-process traceability as it provides transparency and accountability in the supply chain. Traceability data enables them to verify product authenticity, track order status, and address issues such as product recalls or quality discrepancies promptly, fostering trust and collaboration between trading partners.

Technology Viewpoint

Automated Identification Technologies: In-process traceability leverages automated identification technologies such as barcodes, QR codes, RFID tags, and NFC labels to uniquely identify and track individual items, batches, or lots throughout the production process. Automated identification streamlines data capture and reduces manual errors, improving traceability accuracy and efficiency.

IoT and Sensor Networks: In-process traceability utilizes IoT devices and sensor networks to monitor equipment performance, environmental conditions, and product quality in real-time. IoT sensors collect data on temperature, humidity, pressure, vibration, and other parameters, enabling proactive maintenance, quality control, and compliance monitoring, enhancing overall process reliability and resilience.

Data Viewpoint

Data Capture and Collection: In-process traceability involves capturing data on material inputs, production parameters, equipment performance, and product characteristics in real-time. Data collection methods include barcode scanning, RFID tagging, sensor monitoring, and manual data entry, ensuring comprehensive traceability of manufacturing operations.

Data Analysis and Reporting: Traceability data is analyzed to identify trends, patterns, and deviations in production processes, enabling proactive decision-making and corrective action. Advanced analytics techniques, such as statistical process control (SPC) and machine learning, help detect anomalies, predict failures, and optimize process performance, driving continuous improvement and innovation.

Deployment Challenges

Technology Integration: Deployment begins with integrating traceability technologies, such as barcode scanners, RFID readers, IoT sensors, and MES/ERP systems, into existing production equipment and infrastructure. Integration ensures interoperability and data exchange between different systems, enabling end-to-end traceability and visibility of manufacturing operations.

Process Standardization: Deployment involves standardizing production processes, workflows, and data formats to facilitate consistent data capture and interpretation across production lines and facilities. Standardization ensures data integrity, reliability, and compatibility, enabling efficient data sharing and collaboration between departments and stakeholders.

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